Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And the fog keeps rolling in...

Ever since graduating from college in '05, I have not had a week off between the months of April and November to spend at my family's summer home in coastal Rhode Island. I learned quickly on those weekend trips from New York that summer isn't a summer without Rhode Island.

This year, I have decided to take the summer "off" to play. My family went on a large trip to Italy in June that I didn't want to miss (details to come!) for 3 weeks, and I knew I would be going back to school in September (French Culinary Institute in NYC!). I wasn't sure if future summers would give me an opportunity to spend a large chunk of time Rhode Island, so here I am playing!

The past couple of weeks have been perfect - sunny days for runs or bike rides to Horseneck, sailing on the pond, lots of picking fruits and vegetables for lunches and dinners. However, it has been an odd summer, too. We had a cooler than normal spring and beginning of the summer - that means certain plants are blooming later than usual (no complaints - I usually miss the rhodedendrons blooming...but I caught the tail end this year). I've noticed that the corn and raspberry crops are "ready" later than usual, too. And, unfortunately, many local farmers have been hit hard with Late Blight on their tomatoes and potatoes - the same fungus that caused the Great Potato Famine of 1850's. Read these articles from the 17th and today to learn more.

The neverending fog that we've been experiencing this week is direct evidence that we're all out of whack. It's incredibly humid and what appears to be foggy - though it is most often a thick marine layer. Yesterday, the marine layer burned off and blew in...but today it is sticking.

In past summers, I've welcomed these foggy days. They're perfect for long bike rides and picking fruit and veggies in the fields. This year, however, it has already been so moist, and days like this aren't helping the molds and fungus that are so abundant this year.

Now that it is nearly the first week of August, many families are in the area to vacation for the month. Young kids and fog are only fun for so long. I ask you, readers, what foggy/cool day activities do you enjoy most - or recall from your childhoods? Here is a sampling of what I've been up to - and what I want to do!

Foggy day activities:
Picking raspberries, beans, and zucchini
Cleaning off sailboats and kayaks
Long walks with the dogs (in the field, and on the beach)
Re-teaching one how to knit
Finish needlepoint projects
Curling up with a book and reading
Baking - coffee cakes, cookies, tarts
Cleaning and organizing
Food shopping - farmers markets and Whole Foods in Providence

Activities still to do:
Go through photographs and fill picture frames with them
Fix broken jewelry and re-string others
Keep cooking and baking
Trip to Newport
Shopping in Boston
More raspberry picking
Make jam with the raspberries
More reading

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